Top 9 Essential Ingredients All Bakers Need

Do you have a baking pantry? What type of ingredients do you use in your baking? People have different preferences based on what they bake and prefer. There is a long list of baking ingredients some you may not have. However, it is possible to narrow down the list to essential components for baking your muffins, cakes, pancakes, cookies, and everything else you like to bake. The following are crucial ingredients every baker must have. They have been categorized into several groups with essential to next-level ingredients based on what is available for you.

  • Flour

All-purpose flour is the ultimate baking flour for most items. It can create anything from cakes to muffins, pancakes, and biscuits. You can choose low-gluten soft flour or hi-gluten hard flour based on your preference. All-purpose flour is light with a fluffy texture. The specificity of the flour you pick depends on what you are baking. For instance, rye flour is ideal for pancakes, biscuits, and cakes. In short, depending on your goal, you have choices like whole wheat flour, bread flour, whole grain flour, cake flour, self-rising, pastry, cornmeal, etc.

  • Dairy

Dairy products are also vital for bakers. The most basic dairy ingredients bakers use include unsalted butter for batters and cookie dough. They also use large eggs, milk, cream cheese, buttermilk, and other milk alternatives like coconut, nuts, rice, or soy.

  • Sugar

Sugar is also in different types. However, the basic ones are granulated sugar, brown sugar, powdered, superfine, or castor sugar, and other natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, cane syrup, date sugar, coconut sugar, molasses, etc.

  • Salt

Bakers also have different types of salts. However, the basic ones are granulated salt and sea salt. Granulated table salt is the type of salt used in households. Sea salt is flaky and grainy since it is evaporated from seawater. It is mainly sprinkled on baked items to add more taste.

  • Leaveners

Baking cannot be complete without leaveners, and bakers use different types. Leaveners are essential to help the dough rise. You can use baking powder, baking soda, yeast, or sourdough starters. Each has specific effects on the dough.

  • Fats

Bakers also need fats like butter and vegetable oil for different purposes like neutral flavoring or oiling baking pans. They use shortening instead of butter or combine both to improve the tenderness of pie crusts. Because of its high melting point, shortening is ideal for cookies to keep them in shape.

  • Spices

The most common spice used by bakers is cinnamon. Everything else you choose is based on what you are making. You can use allspice, ginger, or ground cloves together with cinnamon. You can also go for ground spices since they have the freshest flavors.

  • Flavors and Extracts

You can also add essential extracts and flavorings to your pantry. Such include pure vanilla extract to give your baked items the spicy aroma and flavor, lemon extract, rum flavoring, almond extract, brandy flavoring, etc.

  • Add-in

This is the favorite part for most bakers. Here, you can get as personal as you wish with your add-ins. These include chocolate for chocolate lovers, nuts, food coloring, dried fruits, rolled oats, Chia seeds, coconut, sprinkles, etc.


The list of ingredients you can use as a baker is long. There is nothing wrong with whatever you choose as long as you get the results you need. While some ingredients are specific, these are basic ones that every baker uses.